Is winter weather putting a damper on your home improvement ambitions? Many people who plan to use concrete as part of their projects believe they need to pause when temperatures dip. The truth: In many cases, this isn’t necessary.
How? Some specialty concrete mixes are formulated for quick curing that allows you to complete projects even during cold months. You just need to do a little research and plan ahead to ensure project success.
The importance of curing
Curing means ensuring the concrete retains adequate moisture, which allows it to gain strength to enhance durability of the finished project. There are three types of curing options:
Water – spraying a mist over the slab to keep it dam
Cover – using a plastic film or burlap to keep the moisture from evaporating
Chemical – using a curing compound on the concrete after its initial set.
Concrete options for cold weather
In cold weather climates, concrete projects are still possible. One option the pros reach for time and time again is Quikrete 5000 High Early Strength Concrete Mix. With a faster cure time, it can be used in cooler climates. This allows you to complete your projects before spring arrives.
What you need to know:
Quikrete 5000 is suitable for any concrete use requiring high early strength and rapid strength gains. Because it cures quickly and gains strength faster, it is ideal for colder weather applications. It has a walk-on time of 10 to 12 hours.
Quikrete 5000 can be used for any application requiring concrete in a minimum thickness of 2 inches, such as slabs, posts, footings, steps, columns, walls and patios.
Even though Quikrete 5000 can be used in cooler temperatures, it’s important to plan ahead and avoid freezing temperatures. You should take precautions to protect concrete from freezing during the first 48 hours. Plastic sheeting and insulation blankets should be used if temperatures are expected to fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Learn more at Quikrete.com.
Tips for success:
Air temperature is different than ground temperature. You may need to heat the ground or surface to get it above freezing.
Keep materials in a dry and warm location.
Use products designed to set quickly.
Monitor the temperature often throughout the pouring and setting periods.
Things to avoid:
Never pour concrete on frozen ground or substrate.
Never pour concrete if freezing temperatures are expected within 48 hours and you can’t take proper precautions.
Never use cold or freezing materials and tools.
Don’t remove any framework before the concrete reaches the appropriate strength.
Cold weather months can be the ideal time to get concrete projects done before the more temperate seasons arrive. While others will be working in spring and beyond on their home improvement projects, you’ll already be done with yours and have time to sit back and live life to the fullest.